If you have run any of the Lexus Laceup Running Series Races, or run in Southern California regularly chances are you would have seen Victor. He is hard to miss at races, as he is usually leading the front pack as a 1:30 pacer most time or the 3:00hr pace groups at Marathons. I have known Victor for a few months now, since I did all the Lexus Laceup Running Series races and he is one of the pacers for that series. Over the course of several months I got to know him as one of the faster runners. When I had a wrong elevation chart, he reached out to me with his past race data to help ease my panic with the hills. For a while I thought he was one of those Runner Guys who was born with better running genes and stronger lungs than rest of us, who always ran the speed he runs. But – NO. Through his instagram posts, I got to learn about his past and how he started to run back in 2013 and worked his way upto this speed he runs now.
Back in December 2013 – as a 32 year old, Victor was just a regular dude, going on about his life like any of us do. He was 230lbs, and tells me he considered him self ‘unhealthy’, and ‘unhappy’. To quote Victor in his own words – his weekends consisted of BBQ, watching sports, eating junk food and drinking a lot of beer. Wanting to get healthy and lose weight, following his sister’s weight loss, he picked up running that year.
When he started to run in Dec 2013, everyday Victor would head out for a run , and try to run how long ever he could. It was 10 minutes initially, which turned into 20 minutes, 40 minutes, and at one point, he found himself running 12 miles regularly. During this time he was running, he ran a 10:00/11:00 pace but continue to run, and increase miles week after week. His weekly mileage went from 15 miles per week to about 35/50 close to mid 2014s. Around April 2014 he consulted a nutritionist and when he learnt he was on the verge of being diabetic, he got his diet in control and got more serious with his running as well. Combined with his running he was doing regularly, and eating healthy – it sped up his weight loss drastically. AS he has been running when he was 230lbs, as over the next few month, his weight came off, his times gotten so much faster.
Around July 2014, Victor ran his first 5k – with a finish time of 19:55(6:24 pace) – a time I can only aspire to run as my life time goal! He consistently runs half marathons at 1:18 to 1:20 finish time.This year he already ran his full marathon with BQ qualifying time, but he is planning to run Boston not this year, but next year – 2018.
It just amazes me that he went from fighting his weight issues to an inspiring Marathoner, who runs some of the fastest times here in So Cal in such a short 2 years. Behind all this is his hard work. Victor attributes his success to his regular runs, and the way he increased his miles. He cross trains and does P90X regularly and logs about 60 to 70 miles weekly now with atleast 2 speed works every week. When I was talking to him about a race and amazed at his speed he told me ‘Sometimes it looks like it’s easy for some people, but us as runners know how hard it is to get up early every morning and put in the work.’
I asked him ‘why Running‘. Out of all the workout programs, why he chose running. He responded, ‘Running gave me a Second chance at being healthy. I love running, the challenges, pains, joy, satisfaction it brings every time I improve.’. I was wondering now that he is super lean and built, what motivates him to continue to run week after week, every week. He said ‘I don’t run to beat anyone. I just run to be better than I was yesterday’.
‘The obsession with running is really an obsession with the potential for more and more life.’
That is what all us runners share – the obsession with the potential for more and more life, whether we run a 11 minute a mile pace or 6 minute a mile pace.
Thanks Victor for sharing your inspiring story with me. Initially I was wanting to find out how you run fast, but I am so blessed to learn and find out why you run as well. It makes more sense that way!
Victor Hurtado lives in Santa Maria, and runs all over Southern California. He works for Beast Pacing, usually pacing the 1:30 half marathon pace group, or 3:00 hr marathon pace groups. He is one of the Ambassadors for Destination Races and Mountain2Beach Marathon. He wants to apply to be an ambassador for Lexus Laceup Running Series next year. He loves helping other runners with their training tips and questions! You can find him on Athlinks and Instagram.